Statute of limitations laws are intended to ensure that litigation proceeds in a timely fashion. If you've been recently involved in a serious car accident, it's vital that you understand how the state's statute laws affect your right to compensation.
The Statute of Limitations for Louisiana Car Accident Lawsuits
After a serious accident, you may be faced with the following two main types of damages:
- Personal injury. This includes payment of your medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
- Property damage. In general, this refers to damage to your vehicle, although it could refer to other types of damage if you were transporting valuable items at the time of the accident. For example, it would be quite possible for a musician who was on the way to an event when he was hit by a negligent driver to have $10,000 or more in musical instruments in his van.
Louisiana law allows you one year following the date of the accident to file a lawsuit to collect both types of damages. However, there are different rules to follow if your accident involves the government—such as if you were involved in a collision with a city bus. In this case, you'd need to contact an attorney immediately to learn how to proceed. Additionally, the statute of limitations does not affect any pending insurance claims. It applies to lawsuits only.
Plaintiffs can sometimes be granted an exception to the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits if they were first unaware of the injury or did not know that the defendant's actions caused the injury. However, these circumstances would be unlikely to apply to a car accident case. Any injury you sustained would likely be apparent within a short timeframe.
How Should I Proceed With My Case?
It takes time to gather the necessary documents for filing a personal injury or property damage lawsuit. To avoid the risk of your case being dismissed because of the state's statute of limitations, you'll want to hire an attorney immediately. A skilled attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and may be able to secure a settlement without going to court.
Please complete our online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation with the experienced attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault.